Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Nollywood: 2013 in retrospect

2013 is an eventful year in the Nigerian movie scene popularly known as Nollywood. As usual, there was 
always something going on in the industry but those that got our attention are the scandals which were plentiful this year. Sadly as well, we lost some great actors and on the flip side, the industry also welcomed a lot of new faces as well. There were fights, make-ups, marriages, break-ups, awards, fall from glory and much more.
Asides these, the industry as a whole had a lot of breakthroughs in many ways. We had more films in festivals around the world. The government have started redeeming it’s pledge to the industry by allowing movie practitioners to have access to grants. The quality of our movies is improving with better equipment being used and well trained crew manning them.
Also this year, Nigeria actress, Omotola was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people in the world. She is the first Nigerian and first African actor to be rated so high. This has increased her profile around the world and it even landed her a Hollywood role, though a little role.
(more after the cut)

Industry battles
The year started off with the continuation of the battle for the seat of Actors Guild of Nigeria(AGN). Ibinabo Fiberesima was made president of the guild last year but many continue to challenge her for the seat. There are still cases pending in the court over the issue. Other guilds too have been in battle. ‘The Akpabio N50m’ has been another source of rancour amongst industry practitioners especially between member of the Assosiation of Movie Producer (AMP) headed by Zik Zulu and Association of Nollywood Core Producers (ANCOP) headed by Alex Eyengho. The Money was promised by the governor of Akwa-Ibom State to the industry but Zik and a few others were quick to redeem the money. The case continues to linger as both parties have been suing and counter-suing each other on how to share the money.
There was also the election to the Chairmanship seat of the Lagos Chapter of AGN. Victor Osuagwu was declared winner, but others do not agree with the outcome. The case just like many others is also in court.
There were a few weddings this year, and some of them did not go down well with some people. The most recent one is that of the actress, Mercy Aigbe who last week married to her heart throb at the Ikoyi registry in Lagos. Gentry though, has a wife and children already. There was also the marriage of Foluke Daramola and her hubby Kayode Salako. The union caused a lot of murmuring. Asides from the fact that Salako left his wife to marry, Foluke, a friend of Foluke actually came out to reveal that the actress visited an herbalist in order to bag Salako. An accusation Foluke has since denied. Other marriages includes that of actor, Ibrahim Chata to Salamat Shaaba Lafiagi the daughter of Senator Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi and others
The most prominent break-up this year is undoubtedly that of Funke Akindele and he hubby Kehinde Oloyede. The marriage is barely a year old when the two called it quits. It was the husband that actually went online to disclose that the marriage was over.  Funke tried to do some crisis management by sending out releases saying that her marriage was still intact. But weeks after, she succumbed by revealing that she was abused all the while she was married to her husband.
There was also break-up tales about Uche Iwuji’s marriage to Juwon Lawal. The marriage too is just a year old. The story spread like wild fire, but Box office in it’s investigation had revealed that it was just a hoax.
The beginning of 2013 witnessed a host popular actors dying. Several of them include Lugard Onoyemu, Bisi Komolafe, Collins Ifeanyi, Justus Esiri. These actors died within a span of six months which gave room for worry. A release by Ibinabo on the issue read, “With the incessant deaths occurring in the entertainment industry this year, it’s high time we put a stop to it. We must surrender our lives to Almighty God irrespective of our religious believes. Let’s come together and embark on prayers and commit our industry and practitioners to God. We need serious Prayers. We must reject death in the entertainment industry.” There had not been another death since then.
Awards and events
2013 ushered in the first ever African Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards(AMVCA).  The award as expected was glamorous and had in attendance the biggest names in the movie industry across Africa. The Movie, Mirror Boy took was named the best movie while OC Ukeje and Jackie Appiah were the Best Actor and best actress respectfully.
A month after, The African Movie Academy Awards(AMAA) held it’s 9th edition in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. Late Justice Esiri got a final honour as he was named the best actor. Best actress went to Hermelinda Cimela. Nigerian movie, ‘Confusion Na wa’ took home the coveted price as the movie of the year. The awards was better organised that previous editions.
Other major events during the year includes the Abuja Film Festival which was a huge success and the African Film Festival (AFRIFF) which many say was not well organised as a film festival. Other events include the Best of Nollywood(BON) awards and The Nigerian Movie Awards. Also, the African movie network, African Magic celebrated it’s 10 years in business.
Top movies
Probably the most talked about Film in 2013 is the adaptation movie of Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Half of a yellow sun’. Despite the hype around the movie, it is yet to be seen in Nigeria. It did not also make it to any foreign cinema. Other top movies this year include, The Contract, The Meeting, The Nanny, Cobweb and Torn.
Top Headlines
There were lots of major headlined this year generated by Nollywood but there were some which were really outrageous. One of those is that of Jim Iyke when he was shown live on television being exorcised. Jim Iyke had visited the controversial pastor TB Joshua, at his Synagogue church in Lagos. The world saw live how the pastor laid hands on Jim Iyke and Jim started speaking as if a demon was speaking through him. There were different reactions to this incident. Many including Charles Novia, say that Jim was just faking it. That he was merely acting to get money from the pastor. Jim had replied saying that he was glad he had made the decision to be saved from evil spirits.
Another major headline was that of Tonto Dikeh when she fell from a stage in London. According to those present at the event, Tonto was obviously drunk and could not compose herself on stage. She ended up falling off the stage and the picture was instantly everywhere.
New faces
There are always fresh faces trying to break into the industry but this year, there are some who are starting to get major roles despite being new. Some of them include; Ifeanyi Kalu, Bobby Obodo, Uti Nwachukwu, Linda Ejiofor,  Belinda Effah, Ijeoma Agu, Rachel Isaac, Tehila Adiele and Tess Abubakar

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